(October 17, 1946- )
Born in London, United Kingdom
British theater producer
Owns nine venues in London's West End theater district
Produced West End shows of 'Side by Side by Sondheim' (1976), 'My Fair Lady' (1978), 'Cats' (1981), 'Les Miserables' (1985), 'The Phantom of the Opera' (1986), 'Sondheim's Follies' (1987) 'Miss Saigon' (1989), 'Five Guys Named Moe' (1990), 'Mary Poppins' (2004) and 'Oliver!' (2008)
Also produced Broadway and touring versions of many of the same shows
Knighted for services to theater (1996)
Estimated net worth of $1.1 billion (2011)
First British producer inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame (2014)
Why he might be annoying
He dropped out of college after a year.
His first West End production, a revival of Cole Porter's 'Anything Goes,' closed in two weeks and lost £40,000 (1969).
He admitted, 'I'm a terrible interferer. There isn't an element of the show, from the design of the poster all the way through, that I don't have a go at at some point.'
When visiting New York to deal with Broadway productions, he would crash at the home of the head of the Schubert Organization to save on hotel costs.
Looking back at the dispute with Actors Equity that broke out when he cast Jonathan Pryce in 'Miss Saigon' as a half-Asian/half-European man, he noted, 'I said it was a storm in an Oriental tea cup, thinking I was being clever. I was actually being stupid.'
Why he might not be annoying
He worked his way up from stagehand to producer.
He produced several of the longest-running shows on both Broadway and the West End.
He noted, 'My own tastes happen to be in tune with what the public wants. I think that's the reason my batting average is so high, not because I've discovered some brilliant formula.'
He donated $2 million to the National Theatre, the largest gift by an individual for the performing arts in Britain, and $4 million to Oxford to endow a chair in contemporary theater.
'The Guardian' wrote that he has 'the bright-eyed fervor of someone who has spent all his life doing precisely what he wants.'
Credit: C. Fishel
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Year In Review:
For 2017, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
In 2016, Out of 3 Votes: 33.33% Annoying
In 2015, Out of 3 Votes: 33.33% Annoying
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